It is worth observing that when Christ overcame the temptations of Satan in the wilderness, neither grumbling like Israel of old, nor capitulating like Adam, Luke adds these striking words, “Now when the devil had ended every temptation, he departed from Him until an opportune time.” (Luke 4:13)
The activity of Satan was not complete. He still lurked in the shadows, looking for opportunities to assail Christ.
It is not hard to imagine his influence in the heart of Judas, nor his stirring up hatred among the Pharisees. He was likewise certainly at work in the crowds sowing confusion and blindness. But while all that is true, we see a familiar device at play during the crucifixion. Consider the refrain of the rulers and soldiers and the criminal hanging alongside Jesus.
The first sneered, “He saved others, let Him save Himself if He is the Christ, the chosen of God.” (Luke 23:35). The second echoed this sentiment by saying, “If you are the King of the Jews, save Yourself.” (vs 36). Lastly, the criminal blasphemed, “If you are the Christ, save Yourself and us.” (vs 39)
We have heard similar words before. From where do they arise?
Think back to the manner in which Satan […]